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Cat Can't Stop Coughing: Why is My Cat Coughing?

Have you noticed that your cat's comforting purr has devolved into a persistent cough? This may point to irritation in their airways, lungs, or throat. In this post, our Kent vets discuss potential causes of coughing in cats, and how this symptom may be treated. 

Why is my cat coughing?

Cats sometimes develop a cough even with minor illnesses, and watching your kitty deal with a cough they just can't seem to get rid of may be concerning. Cats can become noticeably agitated or apprehensive when experiencing a persistent cough, and naturally, you're probably wondering whether to schedule an appointment with your vet. 

If your cat's cough is severe or ongoing, it's critical to come in for veterinary care immediately, since this qualifies as a veterinary emergency. Our veterinarians in Kent can diagnose the issue, provide effective treatment, and offer valuable advice on how to help your kitty feel better. 

Common Causes of Coughing in Cats 


Allergies may be to blame for your cat's cough. If this is the case, your furry friend may also sneeze, vomit, and experience itchy skin, gas, and bloating. 


Felines who spend any time outdoors have a higher risk of asthma than cats who remain indoors. You may notice your cat coughing and wheezing due to the most common feline respiratory disorder. They may also breathe with their mouth open, vomit, or have difficulty breathing. 

Congestive Heart Failure 

Coughing is a potential sign of congestive heart failure. Your vet may be able to use an ultrasound or electrocardiogram to diagnose this serious problem. Lethargy, weight loss, abdominal bloating, and even loss of consciousness are other symptoms of congestive heart failure. 

Fungal Lung Infection 

Has your outdoor cat contracted a fungus from soil? If so, they may start to cough. Additionally, depending on the type of fungal infection they develop, you may also see bloody discharge coming from your cat's nose. They may also sneeze, become blind, lose weight, experience a reduced appetite, or have diarrhea. Anemia and cysts under the skin are other common symptoms. 


Heartworm disease is commonly spread by mosquitos. If you live in an area with these bugs, your cat is at increased risk of contracting this condition. Your veterinarian can administer parasite prevention medication to help prevent this issue. Sympoms of heartworm disease in cats typically look like other cat illnesses such as coughing, loss of appetite, difficulty breathing, lethargy, vomiting, and weight loss. 

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer could also be the cause of a cat cough as well as loss of appetite, lethargy, excessive hiding and meowing, lameness, rapid breathing, and fever. Some tumors can be controlled with medication. If not, surgery may be an option.


Persistent coughing, as well as labored breathing, fever, bluish mouth, nasal discharge, lack of appetite, and coughing up blood and mucus, can be a sign of pneumonia. This condition can be diagnosed with X-rays and may respond to antibiotics and other therapies.

Tight collars

If your cat's collar is putting pressure on their windpipe it can cause damage and lead to a cough.


Worms are common in felines. It’s one of the reasons why your pet gets regular blood and fecal exams at their veterinarian's office. If your cat has worms, they may also exhibit on top of a cough, a change in the color of their gums, increased appetite, weight loss, or dark and tarry stools. You may even notice the visible presence of worms in your cat's vomit, stool, or on your cat's fur.

Treatments for Your Cat's Cough

The methods used to treat your cat's cough will depend on its underlying cause. Don’t attempt to treat your kitty's cough without talking to your vet first.

If your cat has been coughing and sneezing, the treatment plan could consist of cough suppressants, antibiotics, steroids, or other drugs, and even surgery, but you should work with your vet to find the best option.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Has your cat been coughing? Contact our Kent animal hospital right away to arrange emergency veterinary care.

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